The Verdant Homes Team

Levi Benkert

Levi Benkert is passionate about building, funding and advancing sustainable businesses in the developing world. Since 1999, Levi has founded and sold companies in various industries around the globe, with a drive towards sustainability and efficient business models. In 1999 Levi Benkert founded LJ Urban, an urban residential real estate development company in California.

With a project pipeline of over 400 Million USD, Levi was the visionary behind this forward thinking home building company. Named Sacramento’s best homebuilder and most innovative company two years in a row, LJ Urban was responsible for bringing sustainable home building into Sacramento.

Mr. Benkert was a co-founder and continues to act as a Managing Partner of Verdant Frontiers and Verdant Real Estate.

Kent Zarbock

Kent Zarbock has more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and single family home development. Prior to forming Verdant Homes, Kent spent 20+ years with D.R. Horton, one of the nation’s most prominent single family home builders.

As a Division President for D.R. Horton, Kent led the development of organizational strategy and leadership, improvements in sales and marketing, strategic execution, and financial management. He directed 300+ employees, contractors, and vendors and was responsible for annual sales of up to $450 million as well as an operating budget of over $30 million. Through all of this, he maintained over 95% customer satisfaction rating resulting in an over 21% referral rate.

He grew up in Wisconsin and attained a Business Degree from the University of Minnesota and moved to Texas in 1986 to attend graduate school at Texas A&M. He has a wife of over 20 years and 3 children with the oldest in college. Kent’s called the Austin area home since 1995.

Scott Friesen
Vice President

Mr. Friesen has more than 20 years of international business experience. Scott has started, grown and sold companies since 1998.

Mr. Friesen currently serves as a Managing Partner of Verdant Frontiers, an opportunistic investment and business development firm focused on sourcing, growing and selling businesses in Ethiopia, a rapidly expanding economic frontier. Verdant Frontiers has successfully funded and managed international companies in the media, agriculture and real estate industries. Verdant Real Estate, a subsidiary of Verdant Frontiers, is actively developing diplomatic housing to support Addis Ababa’s robust international community.